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|Release Date: 05/03/2010|
Fantasy, Action Adventure
By Ryan Casey
I thought I knew what I was getting myself into when I grudgingly decided to sit down and watch Legion. It was going to be an hour and a half of Paul Bettany unconvincingly kicking demon arse in an attempt to save humanity from the wrath of God. I’d like to say that there was more to it than this, but I can’t.
The film starts with Archangel Michael (Paul Bettany) falling from the Heavens into downtown Los Angeles. Michael then severs off his wings, but not before he discards his dominatrix style dog collar that is attached to his neck. God must be a bit kinky. After this brutal self mutilation he steals some serious weaponry from a bunch of Koreans and now he's tooled up and ready to get rowdy with Satan’s minions.
The story then takes us to a roadside diner/garage in the Mojave Desert where we are introduced to the films ensemble of characters: Charlie a pregnant waitress (Adrianne Palicki), Bob Hanson (Dennis Quad) and his son Jeep (Lucas Black), Kyle, a man running from his past (Tyrese Gibson) and several others. Strange things start taking place until probably the best bit of the film, a small frail old lady arrives at the diner who seems pleasant enough if not a little creepy. Upon finding out that the pregnant Charlie is not married this harmless old woman declares that the un-born baby ‘Is going to burn’. From this point on the old bint goes mental, climbing up the walls like Spiderman. Luckily Bob has no patience for this kind of shit and shoots the old woman with a shotgun, a normal Saturday afternoon then. Michael finally turns up at the diner and explains that all the weird shit that is going on is because God has lost his faith with the human race and thus wants to wipe them out.
There is a scene where most of the characters are up on the roof waiting for all of hell to descend upon them, when suddenly there is the interesting juxtaposition of a sweet ice cream van melody that fills the tense atmosphere. Out steps a demon ice cream vendor and the film seems sure to step up a notch. However, these are just false promises as the apocalyptic style standoff that we are expecting never comes to fruition. The group begin to fight what appears to be a handful at a time of Satan’s minions, with key characters being killed off at regular intervals. Eventually an exceedingly homoerotic Archangel Gabriel turns up, with the aim of doing God's bidding and eliminating the saviour.
To begin I’ll start with a small throw away aspect of the film that irritated me. Whilst fighting off hundreds of blood thirsty demons and the onslaught of Archangel Gabriel. Charlie goes into labour, and I’m there thinking ‘She ain't got time for that!’, however, within a minute the little nipper is out an about and on the move. She gives birth quicker than it takes most people to take a dump!
For much of the film the inevitable appearance of Gabriel is the only thing keeping you interested in Legion. I was expecting some mean badass to come along and seriously kick the shit out of the underwhelming cast. Therefore, I was not happy when what can be summed up as ‘a hench Dale Winton’ arrives on the scene. Everything from his voice, facial expressions, posture and the fact that he clearly has the hots for Paul Bettany’s character, indicates he would be more at home on the set of 'Will and Grace’.
The aspect of the film that I disliked the most was easily the majority of characters, who on the whole I found extremely boring and felt no empathy towards in any way. Aside from having a ridiculous name, Jeep is easily the most annoying, his devotion to an average looking women who doesn’t give a crap about him, combined with his dumb red-neck persona makes him insufferable. Thanks to the acting prowess of Bettany, Michael is the most likeable character. However, due to poor scripting and limited character development, I’d take Keanu Reeves as John Constantine any day, and that’s saying something!